Power of the Directorate-General for Tourism to order the closure of a municipal campsite
Power of the central state
RULING Nº 107/03
19 of February of 2003
The legal provision which confers on the Directorate-General for Tourism the power to order the closure of a municipal campsite on the ground that it is operating without prior authorisation is confined to regulating a power of the State itself. This power does not constitute a mere control of the lawfulness of administrative decisions adopted by the local authority (particular to the supervisory powers).
The intervention of the State, within the framework of its power to authorise the "operation" of campsites (including those set up at the initiative of local authorities) - is attributed to the Central Administration - is the consequence of a constitutional requirement. This represents the competing intervention of the State (pursuing the general interest) and of the local authorities (the latter in the administration of what also constitutes a local interest).
The question of constitutionality is whether the attribution to a body of the Central Administration (the Directorate-General for Tourism) of the power to authorise the operation of municipal campsites and to decide that they must be closed down when they are operating without such prior authorisation is contrary to the principle of local autonomy (Article 6 of the Constitution), to the principle of administrative decentralisation (Article 237.1 of the Constitution) or to the limits on the administrative control of local authorities (Article 234.1 of the Constitution).
The Constitutional Court held, as regards the power to authorise the operation of municipal campsites and to decide that they must be closed down when they are operating without such prior authorisation, that the legal regime applying to campsites reflects a balanced form of the division of powers between the central power and the local power in the area of the defence of general and local interests. The autonomous responsibility to administer the interests proper to the local community is the essential content of the guarantee of autonomous administration, which is therefore not affected.